Neyraudia reynaudiana - (Kunth) Keng ex A.S. Hitchc.
Silk-reed
Other Common Names: silkreed
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Neyraudia reynaudiana (Kunth) Keng ex Hitchc. (TSN 41961)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.149243
Element Code: PMPOA4D010
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Grass Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Cyperales Poaceae Neyraudia
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Neyraudia reynaudiana
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Reviewed: 22Mar1994
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Florida (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: The native range of N. reynaudiana is Asian extending from Japan across China, Malaya and Burma to eastern India (Bor 1960). In Florida it is now documented only for Dade (including Virginia Key and Key Biscayne) and Collier counties, but it has escaped and apparently persisted for some time as far north as Sebring (Highlands Co: Deam #63942, US) and was cultivated in the Florida Botanical Garden there ( now part of Highlands Hammock State Park). It is ubiquitous in south Miami (it is documented from the Deering Estate (Guala in press) and is probably in every park in Dade Co.) and has spread from an introduction at the USDA Plant Introduction Station in Coconut Grove in the early 1920's across the Everglades although it is not common away from the main roads and is quite uncommon in the northern part of the park system (it is known from Seminole and Royal Palm State Park but not Corkscrew Swamp).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: The native range of N. reynaudiana is Asian extending from Japan across China, Malaya and Burma to eastern India (Bor 1960). In Florida it is now documented only for Dade (including Virginia Key and Key Biscayne) and Collier counties, but it has escaped and apparently persisted for some time as far north as Sebring (Highlands Co: Deam #63942, US) and was cultivated in the Florida Botanical Garden there ( now part of Highlands Hammock State Park). It is ubiquitous in south Miami (it is documented from the Deering Estate (Guala in press) and is probably in every park in Dade Co.) and has spread from an introduction at the USDA Plant Introduction Station in Coconut Grove in the early 1920's across the Everglades although it is not common away from the main roads and is quite uncommon in the northern part of the park system (it is known from Seminole and Royal Palm State Park but not Corkscrew Swamp).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
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NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States FLexotic

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: Neyraudia reynaudiana is a large caespitose perennial "plume grass", 0.8 to 3.8 m high.
Technical Description: Caespitose perennial 0.8-3.8(5.0)m high. Rhizomes thick and leafy. Culm often branched, 0.2-1.2 cm in diameter, internodes 5.9-21.5 cm long. Leaf sheaths glabrous, persisting after the blades drop, the upper ones 6.7-20.1 cm long, terminating in both an abaxial and adaxial ligule composed of a line of hairs of cf. 3.0 mm long. Leaf blades (7)25-80(100) cm long, 0.3-2.3 cm wide, with 7-16 evenly spaced major veins, the midvein larger but not conspicuous especially in upper blade, auriculate, glabrous on the abaxial surface, sparsely hirsute on most of the adaxial surface with simple hairs to 2.7 mm, the collar region lanate with hairs 2.2-7.2 mm long forming a conspicuous white tuft. Inflorescence plumose, 35-73 cm long with 3-5 orders of branching, the longest branches 10-28 cm. Spikelets laterally compressed, 4.3-9.5 mm long excluding the awns, both glumes present, fertile florets (2)4-9. First glume one nerved, acute, glabrous, (1.3)1.5-3.1 mm long, 0.5-0.8 mm wide. Second glume one nerved, acute, glabrous, (1.6)2.0-3.0 mm long, cf. 0.7 mm wide. Lowest floret consisting only of an empty lemma, acute, glabrous, 2.5-4.2 mm long, 0.7-1.0 mm wide. Fertile lemmas bisexual, three nerved, the lateral nerves densely ciliate with simple hairs 0.4-2.8 mm long, the lemma otherwise glabrous to minutely papillate, 3.0-4.4 mm long, cf. 0.9-1.0 mm wide, awned from a bifid apex, the awn to 3.0 mm long, often curved in drying, the bifid tip extending to 1.5 mm beyond the base of the awn. Palea, 2.4-3.0 mm long, with two minutely scabrous keels cf. 0.5 mm apart. Stamens three, anthers 1.2-1.7 mm long. Caryopsis brown, cf. 1.5 X 0.3 mm. This description is from original observations of herbarium material from FLAS, FTG, TAES, UC, US, USF and original field observations.
Diagnostic Characteristics: Neyraudia is easily identified as the only large "plume grass" with a distinct horizontal line of hairs on the otherwise hairless outer surface of the leaf blade/sheath juncture (look especially at green younger leaves). Erianthus giganteus might be confused with Neyraudia because it is densely hairy in a small area around the juncture of the blade and sheath but there is not distinct line and it has paired, single flowered spikelets with much longer awns (cf. 1 cm).
Reproduction Comments: The extensive and robust rhizome system allows it to survive cutting and heavy disturbance. George Gann-Matzen has seen extirpated populations reappear even after two years but he cannot confirm that this was due to a residual seed bank.

The size of the plants of this species seems to give an indication of the age of the population. Young plants (<2yrs) are often app. 1 m high while older, well established populations almost always have many of the individuals reaching 2.5 m or more.

Ecology Comments: As stated above, disturbance probably plays a major role in its introduction into an area, however, once it invades an area and establishes a population it seems to be able to colonize more marginal and also undisturbed habitats. Although it is known only from the southern counties in Florida, it has been cultivated as far north as Savannah, Georgia and a rhizome segment transplanted to Gainesville in March of 1989 grew rapidly and set fruit even after several light frosts and 1 hard one. In the severe Christmas freeze of 1989 the above ground parts died but the plants are vigorously resprouting (Feb. 1990) and will be monitored for recovery. The specific origin of our ecotype is unknown but I have seen healthy specimens of this species from the eastern Himalayas (2000 m) and other regions of China that are quite prone to hard freezes. It occurred as a waif in San Francisco in 1861 but is not now present in the US outside of Florida.
Habitat Comments: It is remarkably tolerant with respect to edaphic and light regimes although it seems to prefer open, high light, areas. It has often been collected in marshy areas, possibly even of brackish water (H. Moldenke #432, US), and it is very common in upland situations and is becoming increasingly common in dry pinelands. The only thing that most of the localities seem to have in common is some disturbance. This is especially true in drier situations and the disturbance can be anything from bulldozing to fire. This range of habitats is comparable to that in its native range (Lazarides 1980).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: This invasion is still in a stage in which I believe that it can be controlled with a comprehensive eradication program which would primarily include removal of the biggest and oldest core populations in Dade Co., especially in the southern suburbs, and a concerted control effort in other areas.
Species Impacts: This species presents a clear threat to native ecosystems in southern Florida including those preserved in several county, state and national parks. It is already a serious problem in Dade county and will no doubt become one in Collier and Monroe counties in the near future.
Management Requirements: A comprehensive management plan for this species in the southern three counties of Florida. A high priority should go to testing alternative herbicides and eradication methods. Further work should also be done on determining seed production, viability and longevity.

George Gann-Matzen of ECOHORIZONS, INC. reports that a 90% kill rate can be achieved by cutting culms with a steel bladed weed eater, allowing resprouting to 6-8 inches and applying ROUNDUP. He recommends that remaining plants be removed by hand and that the site be monitored for at least two years. He also suggests that the cut culms be removed in pineland situations so as not to add nutrients to the soil and hence, make a more suitable environment for other exotics. Robert Doreen (Everglades National Park, Resource Management) has not found the method described above to be adequate and is going to begin experimenting with other herbicides soon. Terry and Barbara Glancy (private land owners in Homestead) report that by applying ROUNDUP at 1% with a surfactant (IMPROVE or the cheaper brand FRIGAT) at 1%, without cutting the culms, a 100% kill rate can be achieved. He recommends removing the flower heads if they are present though. This is the best method described so far but more research is needed. It would seem that a wick application of ROUNDUP might be reasonable course of action especially in areas in which small native herbs are still persisting within the population. Cutting or mowing alone clearly does not work. Fire alone doesn't work (I have seen burned stalks resprout) and may even compound the problem by introducing disturbance. Mechanical removal may work if done by hand but bulldozing may also compound the problem due to the ability of the grass to resprout from rhizome segments.

Monitoring Requirements: A comprehensive survey of the extent of populations especially in Collier and Dade counties should be conducted.

Sites should be monitored for at least two years after removal of this species.


Management Programs: No comprehensive programs directed specifically at this species are in effect.
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 30Apr1990
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Gerald F. Guala, II
Management Information Edition Date: 30Apr1990
Management Information Edition Author: Gerald F. Guala, II

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Bor, N.L. 1960. The Grasses of Burma, Ceylon, India and Pakistan (excluding Bambuseae). Pergamon Press, Oxford. 767 pp.

  • Guala, G.F. (in press). Flora of Chicken Key. Dade County Parks Department. Miscellaneous publication.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Lazarides, M. 1980. The tropical grasses of Southeast Asia (excluding bamboos) Phanerogamarum maographiae tomus XII. J. Cramer, Vaduz.

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